It was Vince’s 19th birthday on Tuesday. We did a ridiculous thing and FedExed him a dozen Georgetown Cupcakes which elicited the anticipated (at least from me) squeals of excitement from his mostly female dormmates. Vince (who can be a little too cool for GTC) was surprised that there was traction and recognition on the west coast for them. He didn’t realized that there was that TV show about these cupcakes called DC cupcakes that was nationally aired. But you can only get these cupcakes on the west coast in LA. Anyways, the bar is set high for next year’s birthday. (Vince I’m not sure you are getting these cupcakes every year, lol.) Of course, his birthday is his birthday, but Vince’s birthday is the day I became a mom. Vince and Edda are my greatest teachers. I’m lucky to be their mom. I was never a person who really strongly felt the pull to be a mother, but I’m grateful for my children. Finals are next week for him (god, the quarters go by so fast), and he’ll be out there for spring break – not coming home. This time I’m sure he can’t come home, college kids shouldn’t move too far from their little (yet, enormous) bubble. They are the worst possible vectors now, Vince included.
The dryer is still flummoxing me. The part I thought was broken was actually OK. I had to break out the voltmeter to test stuff out like I was some sort of electrical engineer. Turns out I didn’t even need a voltmeter to figure out what was wrong, the heating coil was actually just broken mid way through its coiling. So I ordered a replacement coming today. I didn’t buy the OEM part ($150). I bought the knock off ($25) from Amazon with many many 4.5 star reviews, but of course, the first review was like – this is a piece of shit part. What can you do? I’ll try it out. If it breaks again, I can literally replace it 5 more times before I reach $150. That would be a pain. I remember once standing in a Lululemon store and they were showing off a $150 running shirt and saying how much longer it lasted than a Target running shirt that literally was $10. I keep my Target running shirts for over a decade. I have running shorts I still use weekly from before Vince was born. Those synthetic materials never ever break down. I want them to break down so I have an excuse to buy some luxury fitness clothing!
I count today as the full year of the pandemic. I remember I was working at the hospital on March 11th watching the TVs in patients’ rooms. I was not wearing a mask. It felt like a normal day at the hospital. I watched the WHO declare that we were in a pandemic. I watched the stock market plunge. I remember being with a patient who needed tube feedings every three hours or so (takes 10-15 minutes to do) and standing in that room measuring out the formula wondering what was going to happen at the hospital. I remember in January (before anyone thought about pandemics), I had a patient who needed an NG tube. It was my job to shove the tube down his nose and into his stomach. I put on a mask (pre-covid, nurses did not usually wear a mask for this procedure) and got all my supplies ready. When he looked at me, he said, why are you wearing a mask? And I said, well sometimes things that are inside you might splash out and I want to keep that stuff from going inside of me if that is OK. And then he nodded with understanding – albeit begrudgingly. In late February, I was discharging a patient from surgery and remarking that it was lucky that they were going home ahead of the pandemic and she looked at me with wide eyes and asked if I was scared, as if being a nurse made me less scared, and I said that, yes, I was scared just like she was scared. I honestly can’t believe what we all endured. Everyone has their pandemic stories. Even if you didn’t have the most tragic thing happen to you or your loved ones, it was a lost year which was full of fear and isolation. The isolation is the worst honestly. Oh no, maybe the fear was the worst. You know what’s the worst? Looking at someone come down the street and thinking that they are the enemy. That they are not you – not part of your “bubble”. That they might (inadvertently) hurt you even though they are scared just like you. Argh. I hate thinking that way. It messes with your mind.